The Ministry of Interior says it has put in place measures to improve the integrity of Expatriate Quota administration in the country.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Georgina Ehuriah, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting on expatriate quota administration in Abuja on Tuesday.
Ehuriah said that the quota played key role in the economy.
According to her, it is granted to companies to enable them employ foreigners with specialised skills that are not readily available in the country or are in short supply.
‘’It fills gaps and over time, facilitates the transfer of technology to Nigerians and the eventual indigenisation of the positions occupied by the expatriates,’’ she said.
She said that the ministry was partnering key institutions like Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to improve the scheme.
Ehuriah also said that the ministry was also collaborating with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) among others, to improve the integrity of the entire expatriate quota process.
‘’Already, arrangements have been concluded to electronically link the ministry’s portal with FIRS, NIS and CBN with a view to reducing, if not totally, the incidences of fake quota positions.
“It will also eliminate the use of forged documents to process Business Permit and Expatriate Positions.
‘’Also, as part of ongoing reforms in the administration of expatriate quota, approval was recently granted by the appropriate authority for the re-validation of Expatriate Quota on Permanent Until Reviewed (PUR) status.
‘’ This will enable the ministry to update its records, ascertain proper utilisation by companies and continued eligibility of beneficiaries,’’ she said.
The permanent secretary said that she had directed that a machinery be put in place for the review of the handbook on expatriate quota administration which was last revised in 2004.
She explained that the stakeholders meeting was in furtherance of the ministry’s mandate as it relates to the administration and enforcement of the Nigeria Immigration Act, 2015 and Immigration Regulations, 2017.
Speaking to newsmen at the side lines, a stakeholder, Mr Kayode Faboyede, said that the meeting was the right step in the right direction.
According to Faboyede, who is Associate Director, People Advisory Service, the automation of the expatriate quota process has made life easier and seamless for stakeholders.
Edited by Johnson Eyiangho and Olisa Ifeajika